tv [untitled] CSPAN June 22, 2009 2:00pm-2:30pm EDT
we are expecting some other senators to join us on anytime we have -- on in the time we have until 3:30. this is a hearing to investigate the affect the proposed cap in trade national energy tax will have on job growth and to probe the ways in which building and hype -- 100 new nuclear plants could help the economy and keep the american economy competitive, while at the same time protecting our environment. we are obviously going to talk about climate change. people ask me about climate change and it should we pay attention to it. i always say yes, we should pay attention to it. climate change has affected the human condition for millennia. the one major challenge we have that our ancestors did not have is that there are now 7 billion
of us on the planet. if jacob should take his family to israel to escape the drought, he would find 900 million people already living there and therefore the adjustments you might have been able to make to deal with climate change in the past centuries are perhaps not available to us. we have an outstanding panel of experts and witnesses available to us. i will withhold any kind of opening statement beyond that until we have heard from our witnesses, but recognize the senators in the order in which they have come. senator alexander from tennessee, for whatever comments you might have. >> thank you senator -- thank you, senator bennett. this is a hearing of the republican conference. we unanimously agree we want
clean air. in a sense, the way to deal with that is through 100 new nuclear power plants. we hope a growing number of democratic colleagues will agree with us and the president will pick up the challenges as well. the best way to build 100 new nuclear power plants is presidential leadership, is to ask the nuclear regulatory commission and the department of energy to give him a plan, the president, and say what would it take to do it? it is encouraging that secretary chu says something the other day about moving ahead and asking for four new nuclear power plants. i will be interested in what the panelists have to say about that. that is just the beginning. one of the purposes of our hearing is to remind the american people that if we want pollution-free, carbon-free electricity, we know how to do that. 70% of our pollution-free, carbon-free electricity is
produced by nuclear power. only 6% of our pollution-free, carbon-free electricity is produced by the sun, wind, and earth. from really want to deal with clean air and do it -- if you really want to deal with clean- air into with in a way that provides a low-cost, reliable electricity, nuclear power is the proven way to do it. france produces 86% of their energy that would. we are helping india, china produced clean electricity that way. the president himself has said that iran has a right to make electricity from nuclear plants, so why should we not, and united states, pickup this technology that we ourselves invented? the only thing i would like to say is that i attended an exciting announcement a week ago by a major american
supplier which plans to build 125 megawatts small reactors. this is by a company that has built most of the small reactors in the world. they are perfectly capable of doing it. that puts a whole new thrust to this. that means that these reactors, if everything works out as proposed, could be made in an american plant, shipped to an american site, and they would produce the amount of electricity that is needed and all the supplies and products would be made in the united states. that is a very exciting development. we are here as members of the republican conference to say we have our real clean energy policy. it includes electric cars. it includes doubling research. it includes exploration for natural gas and oil. it starts with the idea of building 100 new nuclear power plants in the last -- in the next 20 years. >> senator bennett?
>> thank you, chairman bennett, and thank you, senator alexander for your participation. i would also like to thank our witnesses for coming today. icap in trade program would have a detrimental effect, i believe, on the americans some -- on the american consumer. i recognize the future of energy is cleaner engine she -- cleaner energy, including building at least 100 new nuclear power plants in the next 20 years to 25 years. i also believe we can meet our growing needs of energy while fulfilling our obligations to the environment. whether or not you believe in global warming, this should not be an excuse to enact a cab in
trade system until we have an international agreement on co2 emissions. advocates of cap in trade argue that to implement the system, american take a global leadership position on climate change. i agree with that. they have argued other nations will voluntarily adopt emissions standards in the future. well, what good is it if you are leading if you are not assured that others will follow? i do not believe we should impose mandatory requirements on co2 emissions until we have an assurance from china, russia, india, and other nations that they will work with us on this issue. a proposed cap in trade system would produce small effect on global warming while imposing
substantial costs on all american households. it will affect the price we pay to fill up our gas tanks. the price we pay to heat and cool our homes, and use electricity, as well as the cost of practically all goods and services. estimates show that if we have the cap in trade system, we would only lower global co2 output by less than 4%. using the small reduction in global co2 to justify a tax of $1,600 + per family is reckless and irresponsible. i believe instead we should sets voluntary goals for industry to meet while providing incentives for the growth of new emission reduction serve -- sources of energy including nuclear and
clean coal. these types of pro-growth energy policies are what we should be debating in congress instead of back door, regressive taxes on the american consumer. i look for to questioning our witnesses today and hearing their thoughts on this issue. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you very much. we have an outstanding panel of witnesses today. i will introduce each one of you. i will shamelessly truncate or biographies in the interest of time. we have been the lieberman from the heritage foundation, ted rockwell from the american nuclear society, chris -- is that? from the chamber of commerce. mr. lieberman is a specialist in energy and environmental issues.
he is a senior policy analyst at the heritage foundation. he is trained as a lawyer and an accountant, and he has testified before congress as well as appeared on programs on nbc, cbs, fox, cnbc, and msnbc, commentaries have been published in a major newspaper including the "washington times," "beat san diego tribune," the american -- "the american standard." mr. rockwell has been involved directly with nuclear power for 20 years. he started in 1943. he was in the elite task force
at the atomic bomb project in tennessee. he became head of the radiation shield engineering group. then a navy captain hired him to work on the naval nuclear propulsion program, and he has a long list of accomplishments there. he is a fellow of the american nuclear society, recipient of the first lifetime contribution award, now known as the rockwell award, distinguished medals from the navy and u.s. atomic energy commission and a member of the national academy of engineers. he has written numerous books on technical papers, including the widely-used design manual -- how one man made a difference and created the new world. stories and images from the dawn of the atomic age. we are very glad to have you, sir. now, from the chamber of
commerce -- vice president of the 21st and she -- 21st century development institute. he has served as deputy assented -- deputy assistant secretary at the apartment energy where he developed the nuclear energy policy and coordinated directions with congress, stakeholders, and the media. early in his career, he served on the house side of staffers. our last panelist began his career as a legislative aide in the oil and gas industry, and his previous work experience includes running one of the nation's most heralded information technology groups as the senior director of technology.
he led telamon -- tele- communications teams and growth strategy for the advisory board. he, too, has appeared on television ads cnbc, bloomberg tv, and other media outlets. he has trained as a lawyer. he was previously senior adviser for energy policy at fbr capital markets. he left there to form a clearer view energy -- clearview energy partners with partners from nasa. the work on projections of what is next in washington, an analysis of how government policy affects energy fundamentals. we have a wide spectrum of age and experience. we are delighted to have you all here. now, senator wicker has joined
us. we will see what opening statements you have for us. >> i understand, mr. chairman, that you're being magnanimous and forgoing an opening statement? even so, i think if you'll give me a couple of minutes -- let me say about how pleased i am that we are doing best. we all remember this time last year. we were in the midst of an energy crisis, paying $4 for a gallon of gasoline. of course, americans were seeing their utility bills skyrocket. we have not made any policy changes since then. the energy problems have not gone away. the prices may have subsided, but undoubtably, unless we come
to grips with this problem we're going to see those problems arise again. we need to develop alternative energy, certainly. the cornerstone of any real solution to the american energy problem needs to involve offshore resources in nuclear power. environmental groups and the administration focus solely on the alternative energy, or green energy. again, i am willing to have any conversation with anybody about wind, solar. these sources can provide for only a fraction of our energy needs. that is why we cannot focus exclusively on developing alternative energy. we must have a balanced approach that expands our existing resources which have proven to be successful in the past. the first step is to build more
nuclear power plants for our country. nuclear energy generates electricity without reducing greenhouse gas emissions and has a minimal impact on the environment. you would think that all americans could come together on a plan like that. additionally, construction of nuclear power plants would provide tremendous economic stimulus. do not take my word for it. the nuclear energy institute estimates that building 45 new plants in america would generate up to 128,000 construction jobs and 22,000 permanent jobs once they are built. this would amount to an economic impact which would indeed move as a further along in getting out of this slump. i fully support the call for 100 nuclear reactors by the year 2013. the united states has not build a nuclear plant in 30 years. this seems a progressive goal. we need to join with the rest of
the world. japan is constructing one nuclear plant per year. of course, we know that china now has 24 nuclear plants under way. on the other hand, we are being asked to invest in a very risky tack in trade tax scheme which would increase taxes in a trickle-down way on every american. if implemented, this plan would raise energy prices for everyone, not hurt america's economic competitiveness, and hurt our economy for decades to come. for some people, this may seem like a reasonable plan. just make traditional energy sources more expensive and alternative plans would then look better. the reality is that cap in trade would be the most volatile to the 95% of taxpayers that president obama has promised
would not have their taxes increased. to quote the "wall street journal," putting a price on carbon is aggressive by definition because poor and middle income households spend more of their paychecks on things like gas to drive to work, groceries at home. we, as americans, should seriously consider whether an annual tax is justified, given the small resulting decline in global co2 which would result. perhaps our witnesses to talk about -- could talk about this. even if everything the administration says and even of the advocates of cap in trade and tax our correctional their assumptions, co2 output would be lowered by less than 4%, and almost unnoticeable amount, even
if all of their assumptions are correct. in conclusion, if the administration continues to halt expansion of our energy supply or they are successful in their tax proposal, every american will see the impact of these proposals. secondly, as we continue to debate this issue, it is my hope that any energy legislation will expand our nuclear plant -- nuclear power plants and our own domestic energy resources for all americans. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you very much. mr. lieberman, we will start with you and come across the table. if you could summarize in five or seven minutes? >> thank you. i am a senior policy analyst at the rowe institute at the heritage foundation. i would like to think the senate
republican conference -- >> move the microphone a little closer to you. >> i would like to thank -- >> not move you. move the microphone. there you go. >> is this alright? -- i would like to thank the senate republican counsel for inviting me. i would like to speak to our analysis of the american clean energy insecurity -- security act of 2009. this is similar to, but has more stringent targets and timetables than the bill that was rejected in the senate last year. it is clear that cap in trade is expensive and amounts to an energy tax in disguise. the sweep aside the complexities, and make no mistake this is the most convoluted attempt at economic planning this nation has attended, the bottom line is that kathleen trade works by
raising the cost of energy high enough so that individuals and businesses are forced to use less of it. inflicting economic pain is what this is about. that is how the emissions targets will be met. the only companies directly regulated would be the utilities -- natural gas producers and manufacturers who produce energy on site. the good news for the rest of us -- homeowners, car owners -- is that we will not be directly regulated under this bill. the bad news is that nearly all the cost will be passed on to us anyway. so what are those costs? according to an analysis we conducted at the heritage foundation, which i have attached to my written statements -- the higher energy costs kick in as soon as the bill's provision takes effect in 2012. costs go up 36 -- $136 for a family of four. they are an average of $829 over
that span. electricity costs got 90% by 2035, gasoline by 58%, natural gas by 55%. the cost for a family of four would be nearly $20,000. this is only part of the consumer impact. nearly everything goes up because higher energy cost means higher production costs. it works out to end near average of $3,000 annually for a household of four. i-2035 alone, the total cost is over $4,600. -- by 2035 alone, the total cost is over $4,600. we estimate of losses averaging 1.4 5 million from 2012 to 200035. these are net losses after the much-hyped green jobs are taken into effect. many jobs will be outsourced to nations like china and india who
have repeatedly stated they will not help -- they will not hamper their own economic growth for the sake of energy policy. higher gasoline and diesel fuel costs, higher electricity costs, higher natural gas will erode profits which are expected to drop 28% in 2012. as with american manufacturers, it puts farmers and the global disadvantage. other food-according nations will have no comparable measures in place. overall, it reduces gross domestic product by an average three and $93 billion annually and cumulatively by 9.4 -- $9.4 trillion. these costs are not distributed
evenly. low income households would be hit harder in average. of course, part of this is to give back some revenue to low- income households, but in my view, it will only restore part of what was taken off from household in the first place. it also disproportionately hits those states in the midwest and south that have a substantial number of manufacturing jobs to lose, as well as those that rely on coal for electric generation. it hurts a rural america more than role -- more than urban america. farmers will spend an average of 58% more on energy than their urban counterparts, and this cost would go up. in conclusion, it is not a surprise that support for it this is heaviest in those parts of the country better least harmed by it. even there, the economic damage would be bad enough. the citizens in the rest of the
country should be asking tough questions about the economic impact of cat in trade. thank you. >> thank you very much. mr. rockwell? >> i am and engineer. i do not know about taxes or economics or those fields. the things i am going to say are just engineering. you may think that is unimportant or an interesting, but if we do not at the engineering right, good politics or economics cannot save us. as my old mentor put it, and nature is not as forgiving as jesus. [laughter] i have to make a few points. they will be necessarily of a bumper sticker links because of time restrictions. there is handout material out front to amplify and explain some of these things. i rest on that. we will start out with
recognizing that energy is defined -- a very basic definition -- as the capacity to take action, the capacity to do work. lots of action and work are needed in this country to do all of the things that we want to do. anything anybody tells you they want to do, the first thing they have to do is expand energy. the first thing that we need to do, as an energy policy, is to make more energy. people say, oh, you cannot do that. we have to reduce waste. there is nothing that says you cannot reduce waste and improved efficiency while you are making more energy. you do like any good business does, he will do both. many scientists say the right energy solution will be some long range, research miracle. some remarkable thing. it could be. so we should devote a little bit of effort to that.
keep an eye on the long-range possibilities. the serious effort, the urgent effort needed in the energy field is to produce more energy now. today's nuclear energy plants are much better than any non- nuclear plant we know how to build in meeting all the requirements for energy. thus, we should build hundreds of them quickly. i did not create that idea for this audience. this is something i have been saying for 20 years. it just comes out of the facts. it is the only thing that makes sense. today's nuclear plants meet all the requirements for energy energy source -- safe, reliable, affordable, renewable, and the gentle on the earth. no other system we know how to build meets all those requirements. it is as simple as that. no other system meets those requirements. we talk about what we can do with cold, what we can do with
biofuel or when bills -- or windmills -- but nothing we know how to build today meets those requirements. and yes, it is renewable. those of you who have been fighting that fight to get that back recognized and on the record in congress should be encouraged. the fax are in -- are on your side -- the facts are on your side. there is anything i can do to make that point, i will be glad to do so. if you look at the technical, scientific and urging -- the engineering fax, id nuclear power plants are a shoe in. there is no competition. and then you say, what about performance in the real world? again -- performance has been astonishing. on those two bases, there is no reason not to use nuclear
energy. we look at it as a last resort. it is not a last resort. it is an obvious solution. all of these technical facts are, of course, bipartisan. they are true in the real world. they are unavoidable. the legend problems that nuclear faces do not really -- the alleges that problems at nuclear faces do not really occur in the real world. waste -- who is being hurt by waste? we have back up information on that. that is scarce stuff. it is not occurring in the real world. -- that is scare stuff. the president says we do not need yuca mountain. we do not need that. we never did need it. it